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Starting it off right: September events round-up

Words at WAM strikes again!
Words at WAM strikes again!

The Twin Cities for bookish sorts

The season begins (did it ever stop?) with a hail of events that will surely keep you hopping all over town. Try something different, go see an author you’ve never heard of, attend a launch, read at an open mic, or go listen to some poetry. Of course, there are more great events listed at the Twin Cities Literary Calendar, hosted by Rain Taxi. Oh, are there ever. And mark your calendars now for the Twin Cities Book Festival, taking place at the Fairgrounds on Saturday, Oct 12. Watch for an upcoming profile of Rain Taxi with more information about the Book Fest.

Birchbark Books Reading Series
Wednesday, Sept 11, 7:00 pm
Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church, 2020 W. Lake of the Isles Pkwy, Minneapolis
This month this series, now in its fifth season and which has been trying to find a home since the Kenwood Café closed, presents Gwen Westerman and members of the TGIFrybread. Gwen is co-author with Bruce White of Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota, which received a 2013 MN Book Award. Readers will include Colleen Casey, Delaney Deer, Sandy White Hawk and Marne Zafar. Curated by Michael Kiesow Moore with Ardie Medina.

2014 Saint Paul Almanac Book Release Party
Thursday, Sept 12, 7:00 pm
Black Dog Café, 308 Prince St, Saint Paul
Also known as an Art and Music Extravaganza, this celebration of self-expression that becomes the Saint Paul Almanac launches with live music, food, readings, an art exhibit and more. Events spread throughout the building, at AZ Gallery, Black Dog and Clouds in Water Zen Center. Get your copy of the new Almanac hot off the press, featuring over a hundred stories and poems and over 250 photos and illustrations, with a hand-drawn map by illustrator Roberta Avidor. This award-winning publication just keeps getting better and better! And this year, there will be 25 readings around town, curated by Cracked Walnut creator Satish Jayaraj. Look for one near you.

Readings by Writers/Carol Connolly Reading Series
Tuesday, Sept 17, 7:30 pm
University Club of Saint Paul, 420 Summit Ave, Saint Paul
This month’s session will honor this year’s Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk Poets. Marcus Young, City Artist in Residence and the instigator of the idea, will emcee and present several of the eleven poets who were honored. They will read their work, forever emblazoned in the concrete of the city, which now includes 46 poems. More than 500 poems were entered. Arrive early for a social time or if you wish, make reservations for dinner. Just say you are there for Poetry Night. Bar is open throughout the evening.

Words at WAM
Wednesday, Sept 18, 6-8:30pm
Weisman Art Museum,
The third iteration (dare we say annual?) of this stellar interactive event will include the featured readers Katie Sisneros and Dobby Gibson. This is a collaboration between the literary duo Hazel & Wren and the WAM Collective which will include refreshments, current WAM exhibits, music by Beasthead and surely other hijinks. The highlight of the evening is the invitation for writers to share their work, with four minutes at the microphone. Readers will need to sign up and will go on in order of the sign-up sheet. Any genre is welcome, be it fiction, poetry, nonfiction, spoken word or any other literary mischief. The open mic ends at 8:00, regardless of how many people are left on the sign-up sheet, followed by the featured readers. Sign-ups start at 6pm so get there early to ensure your spot.

September Tweet Up
Saturday, Sept 21, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Micawber’s Books, 2238 Carter Ave, Saint Paul
In their Saturday version they tour bookstores. This month, the Tweet Up stops in at Micawber’s, the hidden jewel of the St. Anthony neighborhood. Co-owned by Hans Weyandt and Tom Bielenberg, this carefully curated store is also the home of Read This: Handpicked Favorites from America’s Indie Bookstores, published by Coffee House Press, which grew out of one of the best blogs around. Stop in for some good bookish conversation with the folks from MN Publishing and the rest of the publishing community, and discover something sweet.

New and Nearby Reading Series
Wednesday, Sept 25, 7:00 pm
Trotter’s Café, 232 N. Cleveland Ave, Saint Paul
This month’s featured reading will be by Tracy Youngblom. Tracy has been co-editor of the three chapbooks arising from the New and Nearby reading series. Her poetry collection Growing Big has just been published. Hosted and curated by Jim Rogers.

Now, just as a reminder, I don't include the dozens of author readings at bookstores and other venues that have their own marketing machines, and I don't generally include the big library events either. But check those out, do. And if you are so inclined, you can come to see yours truly at the Swede Hollow Cafe on Friday, Sept 27 at 5:00 pm, where I will be reading as part of the Saint Paul Almanac Reading Series. Meanwhile, subscribe to the column here so that I can feel the love, and continue what I know many find to be a valuable service!

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